Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Facts, Determination, Disciplinary Action and Costs

Kerri Margaret Farion

Vancouver, BC

Called to the bar: December 4, 2006

Discipline hearing: October 19, 2016

Panel: Dean Lawton, QC, chair, Dr. Gail Bellward and Richard Lindsay, QC

Decision issued: February 9, 2017 (2017 LSBC 05)

Counsel: Carolyn Gulabsingh for the Law Society; Ross McLarty for Kerri Margaret Farion

FACTS

On May 13, 2016, a hearing panel determined that Kerri Margaret Farion had committed professional misconduct for failure to respond to the Law Society. The panel ordered that Farion pay a fine of $2,500 and costs of $2,494.60, and provide evidence of her attendance at a medical appointment by May 27, 2016 (hearing decision: 2016 LSBC 25; Fall 2016 discipline digest.

On June 16 the Law Society issued a citation alleging Farion had failed to meet the order to provide evidence of attending the medical appointment by May 27.

On August 22 Farion’ s lawyer provided a letter dated August 19 confirming that Farion had attended the medical appointment, and requested an adjournment of the hearing scheduled for August 26.

Farion submitted that she complied with the terms of the hearing panel’ s May 13, 2016 order, albeit late, and that the penalty associated with her prior failures to comply with orders of the Law Society was sufficient sanction.

DETERMINATION

The hearing panel concluded that replying in a timely way, providing documents and cooperating during Law Society investigations are fundamental responsibilities of lawyers and that failure to do so has the potential to prevent the Law Society from performing its critical role of protecting the public interest.

The panel found that Farion’ s failure to comply with the order arising from the previous hearing constituted professional misconduct.

DECISION

The panel ordered that Farion:

  1. be suspended for 30 days; and
  2. pay costs of $2,492.

2017 LSBC 05 Decision on Facts, Determination, Disciplinary Action and Costs

2016 LSBC 25 Decision on Facts, Determination, Disciplinary Action and Costs